Although the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation became a national philanthropy in 1972 and has operated on a national scale since then, it also has continued funding a limited number of local institutions and projects in the New Brunswick area and throughout New Jersey. It does so in part to honor the legacy of its founder, and in part to recognize the special responsibilities to the communities and the state in which it is located.This grant supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark's LifeCamp; a summer-camp enrichment program for up to 300 low-income and vulnerable children ages 6 through 13. Since 1998, the Pottersville, N.J., day camp has taken children out of their inner-city environments, where they might otherwise become involved with gangs and drugs and experiment with unhealthy behaviors. Complete with academic tutoring, sports and fun activities, the camp provides children with life skills--such as how to escape a house or apartment fire--to help them survive back home and make healthy lifestyle choices. The campers are assigned to age-appropriate groups (e.g., 6 and 7 years) and are mentored by counselors. Campers compete under team/group names for points by doing good acts and making good decisions. Underpinning all activities is the notion that respect for others will foster self-respect and self-esteem. To improve their health and wellness, younger campers take a class that addresses some of the basic concerns of growing up in an urban environment, such as nutrition, personal safety and avoidance of communicable diseases. Older campers take a values seminar, which addresses teen pregnancy, conflict resolution and the pressure to join gangs. More than three-fourths of the camp staff (some former campers) come from the same home environments as campers do, providing staff members with the credibility to encourage camper interaction, dialogue and trust. The out-of-the-city setting, staff and structured programs are what makes the summer camp a positive experience. The camp runs six weeks, from July 5 to August 12, Mondays through Fridays.
Amount Awarded $50,000.00
Awarded on: 4/23/2012
Time frame: 5/15/2012 - 8/14/2012
Grant Number: 69940